independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Building slump goes on as orders fall

The Irish construction industry's decline deepened last month as new orders slumped.

Construction activity in April fell at the steepest rate in seven months, though firms still predict a growth in business this year.

The latest Purchasing Managers' Index for the sector has a headline figure of 41.9 for April, down from 43.1 in March. Any figure under 50 indicates a decline in activity.

A drop in civil engineering activity led the fall and housing and commercial construction were also down.

New business decreased substantially, down for a sixteenth successive month.

"Construction firms continue to report a lack of new business as a critical issue," said Ulster Bank economist Simon Barry.

Jobs were cut at their sharpest pace so far in 2013.

On the upside, input costs like light, heat, labour and raw materials all increased – but at a slower rate than overall national inflation.

Irish Independent

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